Great Expectations!

There’s an interesting article at SmartPlanet, entitled “From Clicks To Bricks”. The article is focused on e-tailers that are expanding into having a physical presence as well. According to The New York Times’ Stephanie Clifford, “there is merit to having stores that customers can actually visit, to partake in a shopping experience, and feel and touch merchandise.”

Even EBay is adding a physical location as one of their channel strategies. In addition, EBay also uses catalogs and direct mail to drive traffic to their online site. It seems like the more we change the more we stay the same, doesn’t it?

Then I see that has declared 2013 the Year of the Marketer. Delving into their 2013 trends and predictions, they predict that the CMO will move into the C-suite and actually take a seat in the boardroom. Now, that’s just not a meaningless decision, but will carry great accountability. 

CMOs will be expected to take on added responsibility for revenue generation, not just market share and be able to direct the entire organization in regard to acquisition and retention of customers, along with data gathering and analytics. Yes, it’s also the year of Big Data.

So, what do the clicks-to-bricks brands and the “enlarged” CMO have in common? Integration across multiple channels and the development of new skills. We have become digitally inundated and consumers have become immune to our emails, tweets and other digital communications. Sometimes, they actually WANT a face-to-face purchasing interaction.

To stand out, marketing messages must use all available marketing channels – yes, even including direct mail. With mailboxes being empty, marketers are seeing the opportunity to grab attention during that magic “mail moment” and are returning to direct mail as one of their marketing strategies.

CMOs will need expertise in social media as well as team-building. They will need to have the ability to develop cross-departmental teams to accumulate meaningful customer data that will allow for detailed segmentation and relevant just-in-time touches. Their skills will need to encompass all of the marketing channels, as well as financial acumen and management skills, because their efforts will be expected to grow top line revenue and contribute to the profitability of the organization. 

The message? To me it’s about using everything we have – knowledge, marketing channels, software and people. It’s no longer just the job of the marketing department to build the brand. And, it’s not possible to build the brand solely focused on digital marketing or any other single marketing channel. There are great expectations that must be lived up to!

Today, the entire organization must be focused on knowing as much as possible about their customers and prospects, making it possible for them to hear from, and respond to, the organization through the channel(s) they prefer, when they prefer.

Here in Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky we offer monthly seminars to help our clients and prospects learn as much as possible about all of the marketing channels available to them. If you’re ever in our area, let me know. We’d love to have you join us!


About Debbie Simpson

President of Multi-Craft in Newport, Kentucky.
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